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Danny Kennedy stays put in UUP's reshuffle

By Noel McAdam

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has taken the unusual step of pre-announcing an intended shake-up of his party team – but also confirmed Danny Kennedy is to stay on as Regional Development Minister.

Mr Nesbitt had indicated he might move into the ministerial post himself in the run-up to the next Assembly election, which is still two years away.

He and Mr Kennedy had a private conversation last week following the party's success in the elections for the 11 new councils, where it gained 10 seats, and retention of MEP Jim Nicholson's seat in Brussels.

And now he has signalled his intention to reveal the details of the reshuffle before the current Assembly term ends early next month. In a statement, Mr Nesbitt also pointed to Mr Kennedy's "remarkable achievement" with increased public transport passenger numbers, new buses and trains added to existing fleets and new train stations.

"As for the reshuffle, I expect changes in our party spokespeople to be announced before the summer recess," he said.

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